The Office of Juvenile Justices and Delinquency Kidnapping and hostage crimes in California are considered some of the most serious offenses someone can be charged with. They are considered violent crimes, regardless of circumstances, which classifies them as “strikes” under California’s three-strikes law. The law defines kidnapping as detaining another person and changing his or her location, by use of force or ‘instilling fear.’ Taking hostages is defined as false imprisonment for the purpose of using the victims as a human shield – or to protect from arrest.
Certain circumstances will allow prosecutors to charge an individual with ‘aggravated kidnapping’ which carries longer prison sentences and more severe fines for those convicted. Situations where an individual kidnapped a child, or asked for ransom to end a kidnapping are examples where aggravated kidnapping charges may apply. Kidnapping for the purpose of robbing someone or committing sexual assault in California, as well as kidnapping a victim during a carjacking can all result in harsher charges in California.
California also has a kidnapping charge reserved for those parents who take their children without having court sanctioned custody of them. Known as ‘parental kidnapping’, it prevents non-custodial parents from going against mandated visitation rights, extending in some circumstances to even returning children late to approved parental visits.
As serious as kidnapping charges are, a competent kidnapping defense attorney has many options in mounting a sound, convincing defense. The circumstances behind the event, which would take into account the personal and legal relationship between the accused and the victim is very important. A defense attorney can also cast doubt on the idea that the accused intended to commit a crime, or that the victim did not offer consent to being transported. One of the most important tools a kidnapping defense attorney can utilize in these types of cases is negotiating with prosecutors to have charges lessened. A lesser charge will likely not be a felony, or a ‘strike’ charge like kidnapping is.
Contact David A. Stein
Whether you have been arrested for kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping, or taking hostages, the best Orange County criminal attorneys at the Law Offices of David A. Stein can help you. We recognize that every kidnapping case is not the same and holds its own specific challenges. We also recognize the seriousness of these types of charges and the need for a strong, competent, compelling defense. David A. Stein has acquired the knowledge and experience necessary to take on any kidnapping case. For more information regarding kidnapping and aggravated kidnapping in Orange County, or for a free evaluation of your case, don’t hesitate to contact attorney David A. Stein today at (949) 445-0040.